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Newslinks for Friday 11th May 2012

8.30pm WATCH: Harriet Harman: "Jeremy Hunt showed a shocking disregard for the victims of phone hacking"

Davis David surveillance4.15pm WATCH: David Davis: Surveillance measures proposed by Theresa May are "exactly the thing we opposed in Opposition"

2.45pm Local government: Council by-election result from yesterday

2.15pm Local government: Movers and shakers in the housing sector named

2pm Lord Flight on Comment: The Conservative leadership needs to rediscover the middle class values held by the "silent majority"

1.45pm ToryDiary: Divided parties are "entirely healthy", says John Redwood

ShakespeareToryNoon MPsETC: Shakespeare "was in his soul and actions a natural Tory". Nadhim Zahawi's Loyal Address

11am Local government: Former Nazi is now a Labour councillor in Milton Keynes

ToryDiary: Could George Osborne's leadership ambitions deliver a referendum on the EU?

Columnist Bruce Anderson: This is no time for fantasy solutions to real problems. The Tories offering them should know better.

Lord Risby on Comment: A single phone call from Moscow to Damascus could topple Assad

Screen shot 2012-05-11 at 08.29.01Also on Comment - Martin Parsons: The Prime Minister who was shot in the Commons - 200 years ago today

MPsETC:

Local Government: 

The Deep End: Eurozone versus Anglozone

WATCH: Vince Cable: "There is a lot of dissatisfaction... with pay getting way out of line with performance"

Andy Coulson appears before Leveson: David Cameron was personally involved in vetting Coulson

Coulson exiting"Mr Cameron rang the former News of the World editor when he was on holiday and asked him about the phone-hacking scandal over which he had resigned. In the same phone call he told him “background security checks had been made”." - Daily Telegraph

  • Coulson had access to top-secret documents in Whitehall - Irish Independent
  • Andy Coulson: David Cameron asked me about phone hacking only once - Guardian
  • David Cameron didn't hire me for Murdoch links, Andy Coulson says - Australian
  • "Claims of a deal between Rupert Murdoch and the Tories over Sky were called “a grand conspiracy” theory yesterday." - The Sun
  • Coulson had £40,000 in News Corp - City AM
  • Boy from a comprehensive school offered a common touch to Eton masters - Scotsman
  • Rebekah Brooks to lift lid on David Cameron friendship - Belfast Telegraph
  • Cameron pressured to order inquiry into Hunt's handling of BSkyB bid - Daily Telegraph

David Cameron won't reorganise Number 10, but is likely to appoint more political SpAds

10-downing-street"Conservative MPs are clamouring for a shake-up of the Downing Street machine to enable David Cameron to "get a grip" after two months of mistakes and disastrous headlines. The Prime Minister is likely to appoint more party advisers to the No 10 Policy Unit, after criticism that its civil servants lack political nous. But he is resisting the wholesale reorganisation demanded by his critics." - Independent

  • "David Cameron has denied putting his struggling Coalition Government on “cruise control” after the Queen’s Speech was dubbed a flop." - The Sun
  • Under-performing civil servants will be identified and fired under new government plans - Daily Telegraph
  • Does a party have to stay united to be elected - John Redwood's Blog

> From yesterday:

Fraser Nelson: The Prime Minister is in retreat over gay marriage – but he should never have picked the fight to begin with

Nelson Fraser pink shirt"If this were a real battle for equality, with a genuine goal, Cameron would probably be backed by his party. But as things stand, this just looks like a fake re-enactment of a battle won eight years ago by a Labour government that was not stupid enough to pick a fight with Britain’s churches in the process. Like so many of this Government’s mistakes, it would never have been attempted had it been properly thought through. The Tories’ sole consolation is that the Prime Minister will not be attempting such manoeuvres in the future. He is now only too aware that he needs all the votes he can get." - Fraser Nelson for the Daily Telegraph

  • Obama’s decision to back gay marriage cuts no ice with us, say Tory MPs - The Times (£)
  • Steve Baker MP is standing for the 1922 Committee as a middle way between traditionalists and modernisers - Donata Huggins for the Daily Telegraph

The domination of public life by private schools is indefensible, declares Gove

Gove IDCC

"People educated at independent schools dominate British public life to a “morally indefensible” degree, Michael Gove declared yesterday. The disproportionate success of the privately educated was a sign of a profoundly unequal society, the Education Secretary said. “Those who are born poor are more likely to stay poor and those who inherit privilege are more likely to pass on privilege in England than in any comparable country."" - The Times (£)

  • Yes, Mr Gove, I went to private school – but I want to challenge the system - George Monbiot for the Guardian
  • Schools are deliberately failing to correct spelling mistakes to avoid 'damaging pupils' self esteem' -Daily Mail
  • Care homes ‘must be improved to stop abuses’ - The Times (£)

Theresa May confident of Qatada's deportation

May Theresa in black"Home Secretary Theresa May insisted yesterday she was “confident” the government was “closer to the deportation of Abu Qatada than we were two days ago” after the Jordanian terror suspect lost his attempt to make a final appeal to Europe’s human rights judges." - Scotsman

  • "Two-fifths believe the European Court of Human Rights was mostly responsible for the delay. The radical cleric has fought deportation over terrorism charges for more than ten years." - Scotsman
  • Case for snooping powers backfires for Theresa May - Daily Telegraph

House of Lords reform on the table for the summer

"The government will bring forward legislation to reform the House of Lords before the summer recess, Commons Leader Sir George Young said yesterday. Following last week’s poor local election results, Chancellor George Osborne signalled changes to the upper chamber “were not a priority” as he sought to nullify increasingly bitter attacks from Tory ranks. Yesterday, Sir George said Lords reform, which was in the Queen’s Speech, would go ahead." - Scotsman

  • Cameron is playing parlour games with the constitution. No Tory should ever do such a thing - William Rees-Mogg for the Times (£)

> From yesterday - WATCH: An Elected Lords wouldn't have been in the Queen's Speech, says Andrew Mitchell, if the Conservatives were governing on their own

David Cameron taking 'personal interest' in Scottish regiment names

Cameron-and-troops"The Prime Minister is taking a personal interest in the battle to save Scotland’s historic regiment names... Senior Downing Street sources said David Cameron is not yet at the stage of overruling Philip Hammond... But they were keen to emphasise that no final decision has been made and the Prime Minister is aware of the potential political damage to the campaign to prevent Scotland separating from the UK." - Daily Telegraph

  • Alex Salmond: ‘Loss of famous army names a calamity’ - Scotsman

Coalition U-turn on carrier jets 'wasted £258m'

450-Harrier_GR7_Farnborough"David Cameron’s ‘chaotic’ U-turn on warplanes for Britain’s new aircraft carriers has cost a staggering quarter of a billion pounds, it was claimed yesterday. Defence sources admitted the Coalition had rushed its ‘high-risk’ decision to buy conventional fighter jets to fly from the Royal Navy’s £6.2billion warships. Ministers did this after scrapping the last Labour government’s plans to buy a fleet of jump jets, which can take off and land vertically." - Daily Mail

  • Our new fighter jets will give Britain an outstanding military capability much sooner - General Sir David Richards for the Daily Telegraph
  • British U-turn on US jets damages credibility of UK defence chiefs - Guardian
  • Why did coalition government change fighter plane plan? - BBC
  • U-turn on fighter jet could yet give Moray base surprise boost - Scotsman
  • RAF accused over multi-billion Voyager contract - BBC
  • Nato plans to upgrade nuclear weapons 'expensive and unnecessary' - Guardian
  • "Mr Hammond has developed into an impressive performer. The fact that he radiates fiscal rectitude is greatly to his advantage. You feel he could easily have served in a Thatcher government. Sound money, sound politics." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

From yesterday - WATCH: Labour ordered Jump Jets. The Coalition cancelled the order. Now they're ordering Jump Jets again.

Miliband and Hollande agree on united front

Miliband Ed Politics Show 470

"Ed Miliband, Labour leader, and François Hollande, France’s new socialist president, agreed on Thursday to form a united front on promoting anti-austerity policies and a new push for growth across Europe. Mr Miliband hopes Mr Hollande’s election will give added weight to his argument that Britain’s pace of deficit reduction should be slowed, with extra spending on housing and infrastructure projects." - FT (£)

  • Francois Hollande threatens to block eurozone's new financial treaty - Daily Telegraph
  • The Left’s anti-austerity message is delusional - Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • Ed Miliband considering shadow cabinet reshuffle - Guardian

> From yesterday - WATCH: Ed Miliband says Cameron and Clegg are out of touch with their own parties as well as the country.

Lord Mandelson confirms he is advising company accused of illegal logging - Guardian

Jeremy Warner: It’s too late for Germany to save the euro

Euro"Germany is now fully reconciled to a Greek exit. Wrongly, I suspect, it also believes the rest of the eurozone is now sufficiently well prepared to weather the consequent financial maelstrom. In fact, this would only be the case if the escapees were confined to Greece, which is most unlikely. Once one country decides to redenominate as a sovereign currency, the contagion would be impossible to contain." - Jeremy Warner for the Daily Telegraph

Regional Jobs Fund costs up to £200,000 per job, says National Audit Office - BBC

Prisons in lockdown as guards join police in protests at public sector pensions deal - Independent

  • "A mass walkout by public sector workers was branded a flop last night after more than half of those expected to take part turned up for work." - The Sun
  • A pointless strike by unions blind to facts - Daily Mail Editorial

A British FBI has got no chance against London's very own KGB - Sir Simon Jenkins for the Guardian

Deadline approaches for SNP referendum consultation - BBC

MPs demand more robust school spending checks - BBC

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